The Karnataka government on Wednesday, May 6, announced Rs 1,610 crore worth relief package for the benefit of those in distress due to the Covid-19-induced lockdown in the state.

The relief package was announced by Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa focusing on the worst-hit groups during the lockdown. This particularly includes farmers, MSMEs, handloom weavers, flower growers, washermen, barbers, auto and taxi drivers among others.

Karnataka chief minister BS Yediyurappa
Karnataka chief minister BS YediyurappaTwitter

Flower sellers to get Rs 25,000

According to the government's announcement, flower sellers in the state will get a relief of Rs 25,000 per hectare. According to the reports, the farmers cultivated flowers in about 11,687 hectares of fields.

The demands for flowers were steeply decreased as the nation-wide lockdown prevented all sorts of functions and programs were flowers could be used widely. Most of the farmers, including the vegetable cultivators had to destroy theirs produces as they were unable to sell it in the markets.

Other compensations allotted

There will be a one-time Rs 5,000 compensation for washermen and barbers while the auto and taxi drivers will be provided a one-time relief of Rs 5,000.

Construction workers, on the other hand, will receive Rs 3,000 in addition to the Rs 2,000 they had received earlier. The handloom workers meanwhile get Rs 2,000 in their bank accounts.

The Chief Minister said in his statement, "Covid-19 has not only affected farmers, but also affected the service professionals such as barbers and washermen (dhobis) both in urban and rural areas." "The government has decided to provide a one-time compensation of Rs 5,000 each to benefit about 60,000 washermen and about 2,30,000 barbers," he added.

The Chief Minister, therefore, included the micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in the state which will have a two-month waiver on electricity bills. In addition to this, the electricity bills of large industries are also deferred for two months.

Meanwhile, the state government has also announced 11 per cent excise duty hike, which is in addition to the six per cent that was already announced in the budget.

The number of confirmed Covid cases in the state has been increasing as three districts still remain under red zones, including the capital city of Bengaluru.